Local Faith Leaders Convene Law Enforcement, Elected Officials and Community for Dialogue on Body Worn Cameras

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN JOSÉ, CA       

WHO:       Faith and community leaders from PACT: People Acting in Community Together with SJ/SV NAACP will meet with San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia, City Councilmembers, County Supervisors, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and other public officials concerned about improving trust between community members and law enforcement to promote and protect safety and justice.

WHEN:     Thursday, April 21, 2015, 7:00-9:00pm

WHERE:    Emmanuel Baptist Church, 467 N. White Road, San Jose 95127

WHY:        All SJPD officers will soon have body worn cameras, and more law enforcement agencies, locally and nationally, are moving in this direction, too.

Hundreds of diverse community members concerned about police-community relations and police accountability will gather to address the questions:  

  • What community concerns and fears do law enforcement officials need to understand?
  • What law enforcement issues should community members be aware of?
  • What should be included in the camera policy to improve safety, justice, and trust?

Since last year, in response to the urgent need for improved police-community relations and accountability, PACT's Beloved Community multiracial, multi-faith team has been leading both relationship-building and systemic change through:  

  • Dialogue: Testimonies and small group discussion; diverse community members, law enforcement and others public officials build understanding across different backgrounds and experiences in order to create the change urgently needed in interactions between law enforcement and community members. 
  • Policy Change:  PACT's Beloved Community team is working with the San Jose City Council, Police Department, Police Officers Association to implement police accountability more quickly and with greater transparency and community involvement.

At the event, PACT Leaders will ask San Jose City Councilmember Chappie Jones, Police Chief Eddie Garcia, a San Jose Police Officers Association Board Member to commit to including community input in the review of the body-worn camera policy in 6 months, after testing through initial implementation.  Typically, this kind of police policy is determined through closed door negotiations between the City and the union, but the process is being opened up, based on organizing from PACT and the police recognition of the value of building community trust.